Alisha Inamdar,November 06,2017

Source: Mirror

Test drive found many school bus, private van drivers sans proper documents, as well as violating carrying capacity norms
In a development bound to make guardians of school-going chil dren sit up and take notice, the Regional Transport Office (RTO) -in a test drive over two days that checked on 350 vehicles -cracked down on a number of school transport vehicles, including private school vans. In total, 75 vehicles were taken under scrutiny and 52 were seized for violating basic norms, while fines amounting to Rs 1,23,300 were collected.A number of school transport vehicles were found not possessing the necessary documents or contracts provided by schools; several drivers were also found without valid licences or documents of proof.Further, some of the vehicles were found carrying more children than their allowed capacity.Deputy RTO officer (Pune region), Sanjay Raut, said, “We have made many appeals earlier to all drivers to keep the correct documents and a valid licence in place. The ones who chose to ignore this appeal have landed in trouble. All vehicles taken into custody did not follow safety norms introduced by the government. I now make a personal appeal to all parents whose children avail of such transportation -please check the condition of the vehicle and take a copy of the driver’s licence. Do not send your children in vehicles that do not have the capacity to function properly.One can easily understand the condi tion of a vehicle at a glance -even if not, it must be checked properly before sending a child in it.“Mirror reached out to several parents whose children avail pf school transportation. One shared, “It is the school’s responsibility to keep an eye on its transport services. As parents, we drop our children to such a vehicle, placing our trust in the school.These days, our kids are not safe even in schools.“ Said another, “My children go to school in a private vehicle.We keep a copy of necessary documents, but, one cannot always ensure the driver does not carry more children than the vehicle’s capacity, just to earn more money. I am glad RTO is cracking down on such things.“ A concerned mother said, “My child always says she has to sit on her friend’s lap, as there is no space in the van. I have told the class teacher this several times, but got no response. The school should be more vigilant.“